Saturday, July 4, 2009

A Memorable Chamber Music Concert

A Memorable Chamber Music ConcertLast night, in Chamber Arts House in Berkeley, I attended a chamber music concert given by Quartette d’Accord, which consisted 14 to 15 years old Lukas Whaley-Mayda (cello), Alia Welsh (violin/viola), June Park (violin/viola) and Nicolas Locatelli (violin).

The program included movements from String Quartets by J. Haydn, A. Dvorak, D. Shostakovich, C. Debussy and I. Andraisov (Armenian). The concert was marked by the deep commitment of these talented young musicians and extreme emotional intensity. The charismatic adviser of the group, Erika Miranda, explained the reason behind the switching seat amongst violinists and violists. By truly mastering different parts of the music, the young musicians can truly understand the quartet music as a whole piece. All the pieces they performed were of great interests, particularly those by Shostakovich and Debussy. Though only the first two movements of the No. 8 String Quartet by Shostakovich were performed, it was almost too much to bear. The very first chord sounded to me like the rending of a piece of enormous fabric, accompanied by plunging devastation. The weeping and heart rending persisted through out the two brief movements, brought me to the edge of the seat and the brink of weeping myself. It was stunning.

The piece by Debussy was utterly different. It was like montages of slowly blooming flowering here and there, scintillating and hard to pin-down.

Once I returned home, I played Fitzwilliam String Quartet recording of Shostakovich’s No. 8 in its entirety. As if to proof the point I made on yesterday’s blog entry Digital Rembrandt, listening to must recordings would never be able to re-create the spiritual, emotional and even physical reactions as one listens to music in concert halls and opera houses, the recording by the mature musicians didn’t hit me with the same ferocity and emotional charge as the music being played live a few feet away from me. Music played live penetrates into one’s burning vein and beats with one’s heart and soul.

Bravi, Lukas, Alia, June and Nicholas.

1 comment:

  1. We are familiar with the artistry and intensity of Alia Welsh, and are so pleased by the
    magnificent review of what must have been a thrilling experience. I wish that my husband, and I could have experienced it firsthand.
    Martha Takayama